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Lance Alpuerto passes Ph.D. preliminary examination

The REAPER Lab congratulates Ph.D. student Mr. Lance Alpuerto for passing his preliminary examination. His research pertains to the multiphysics modeling, validation, and optimization of non-planar photovoltaic (PV) applications.

Lance received his B.A. in Mathematics from Lyon College in Batesville, AR, in 2013 and then M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University at College Station, TX in 2016. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in interdisciplinary engineering at Texas A&M. 

Dr Balog presents a talk on arc fault and flash detection in photovoltaic and direct-current wiring systems.

Professor Balog presented a talk entitled “Arc Fault and Flash Detection in Photovoltaic and Building Wiring Systems – Detecting Electrical Safety Problems, Making the Electrical System Safer for the Customer,” at the 2019 Workshop on Safe and Reliable Electrical Distribution Systems for Qatar on December 2, 2019. The workshop was sponsored by a grant from the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF). The talk was followed by a question and answer session on technologies related to UL1699B and the detection of arcing events in photovoltaic (PV) and battery energy storage systems (ESS). Dr. Balog presented results from multiple research projects in the REAPER lab which were funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), QNRF, and other sources. This including patented new technologies to make these direct current (DC) systems safer by improving the detection efficacy for arcing events.

Minjeong Kim passes Ph.D. preliminary examination

REAPER Lab congratulates Ph.D. student Ms. Minjeong Kim for passing her preliminary examination. Her research topic pertains to control of thyristor-based single and three-phase inverters.

Minjeong received her B.Sc. from Yonsei University in Seoul, S. Korea, in 2014 and the M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University at College Station, TX USA. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in power electronics at Texas A&M in College Station. Her interest areas control and modulation method for inverters.

Moustafa Raslan presented a paper at the SGRE conference in Doha, QATAR

M.S. student Moustafa Raslan presented a paper, co-authored with Dr. Robert Balog, entitled “Bi-stable Shape Memory Alloy Actuated Switch for PV Skin” at the SGRE 2019 Conference in Doha, Qatar on 20th November 2019.

In this paper, a design concept for a bi-stable shape memory alloy actuated switch is proposed for smart non-planar photovoltaic applications. The proposed design concept provides the potential for miniaturization and overcomes common drawbacks of SMA actuators (e.g. relaxation). A detailed design model for the proposed concept in addition to a functional macro-scale proof-of-concept prototype made of the proposed concept is presented in this paper.

Dr. Wesam Rohouma presented a paper at the SGRE conference in Doha, QATAR

Dr. Wesam Rohouma presented a paper co-authored with Dr. Robert Balog, Ph.D. student Mr. Aaqib Ahmad Peerzada, and Dr. Miroslav M. Begovic entitled “Fault-Tolerant D-STATCOM Based Matrix Converter” at the 2nd International Conference on Smart Grid and Renewable Energy SGRE 2019 in Doha, Qatar on 19th November 2019.

In this paper, four-leg fault-tolerant capacitor-less power quality compensator based matrix converter topology is proposed for use in low voltage distribution networks to mitigate power quality issues. The proposed system has a reconfigurable structure and adaptive switch control schemes to allow fault-tolerant operation of the converter. Fault detection is based on the output voltage measurement error. Finite control set model predictive control is used to control the converter. This fault-tolerant capacitor-less topology is well-suited for long-life applications under hot environmental conditions. Simulation results in different open-switch fault conditions verify the effectiveness and robustness of the proposed solution.

Ph.D. Final Examination: Dr. Morcos Metry

REAPER Lab congratulates Dr. Morcos Metry for successfully defending his Ph.D. dissertation, “Model Predictive Control Methods for Photovoltaic Electrical Energy Conversion Systems.” Dr. Metry’s research studied the theory of finite control set model predictive control (MPC) and the application to power electronics for photovoltaic (PV) energy systems. He developed novel control algorithms based on MPC for sensorless maximum power point tracking (MPPT) of the PV cells, control of single and three-phase grid-interactive inverters, and active filtering of the double-frequency power ripple within the single-phase inverter. His research resulted in a US patent application in addition to many scholarly conferences and journal publications.

Dr. Metry received his B.S. from Texas A&M University at Qatar in electrical and computer engineering, with honors, in May 2014. Then he joined the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at Texas A&M University, College Station, TX USA to pursue his Ph.D. in Power Electronics. Morcos is also a research trainee in the Research and Development department of Qatar Foundation. His interest areas are in photovoltaic integration with the power grid using advanced control methods.

Minjeong Kim presented her research during the Texas A&M Energy and Power Research Day, College Station, TX, USA

Ph.D. student Ms. Minjeong Kim gave a presentation entitled “Control of capacitorless ac link inverters ” at the Texas A&M Energy and Power Group Research Day in College Station, Tx, USA on November 8, 2019.

In the presentation, Minjeong discussed the advantages of an ac-link inverter over the traditional dc-link topology and presented new control methods that she developed to ensure safe and proper commutation. The dc-link capacitor is well-known to be an Achilles heel, causing reliability problems and reducing the lifetime of inverters. The ac-link inverter eliminates the rectification step in a conventional two-stage inverter and processes the square-wave link voltage directly into grid-compatible sinusoidal voltage. Ms. Kim discussed new control methods for the three-phase voltage sourced high-frequency ac link inverters and presented results from her research.

Dr. Wesam Rohouma presented a paper at the GCC Power 2019 Conference & Exhibition in Muscat, OMAN

Dr. Wesam Rohouma presented a paper co-authored with Dr. Robert Balog, Ph.D. student Mr. Aaqib Ahmad Peerzada, and Dr. Miroslav M. Begovic entitled “Use of D-STATCOM for Solid State LED Lamp Harmonic Power Mitigation” at the GCC Power 2019 Conference & Exhibition in Muscat, Oman on 29th October 2019.

In this paper, a matrix converter topology-based distribution static synchronous compensator (D-STATCOM) is proposed for use in the low voltage distribution network to compensate the harmonics generated from the LED lamps. The D-STATCOM is controlled using a finite control set model predictive control (FCS-MPC). This capacitor-less topology is well-suited for long-life applications under hot environmental conditions. Experimental studies were performed, and the results obtained showed the effectiveness of the proposed technology in harmonics power mitigation.

Dr. Wesam Rohouma presented a paper at the GCC Power 2019 Conference & Exhibition in Muscat, OMAN

Dr. Wesam Rohouma presented a paper co-authored with Dr. Robert Balog, Ph.D. student Mr. Aaqib Ahmad Peerzada, and Dr. Miroslav M. Begovic entitled “Capacitor-less D-STATCOM for Voltage Profile Improvement in Distribution Network with High PV Penetration” at the GCC Power 2019 Conference & Exhibition in Muscat, Oman on October 28, 2019.

In this paper, Distribution static synchronous compensator (D-STATCOM) based matrix converter (MC) is proposed for use in a low voltage distribution network to provide the necessary voltage support. This technology is reliable and has long service life as it employs inductive energy storage instead of the capacitive elements which will improve the system reliability, controlled by finite-set model predictive control. Experimental results are provided to show the effectiveness of the proposed technology.

Dr. Wesam Rohouma presented a paper at the GCC Power 2019 Conference & Exhibition in Muscat, OMAN

Dr. Wesam Rohouma presented a paper co-authored with Dr. Robert Balog, Ph.D. student Mr. Aaqib Ahmad Peerzada, and Dr. Miroslav M. Begovic entitled “Impact of High Capacity Distributed Photovoltaic Systems on the Mechanical Assets in Distribution Systems” at the GCC Power 2019 Conference & Exhibition in Muscat, Oman on October 28, 2019.

The paper studies the impact of the high photovoltaic penetration on the electromechanical devices present on a distribution feeder for voltage regulation. The results of the paper indicate that the tap operations of voltage regulators follow an increasing trend with the PV penetration and saturate at about 90% PV penetration on the feeder. The simulation is based on the standard IEEE 34 node feeder model, which is modified to include a high penetration of PV power.

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